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wasn't a great poetry reader (he was handicapped
by having no visual memory) remarked that he had
an indistinct recollection of some poem by Tennyson
in which he had to some extent "seen eye to eye" with
the astronomer. There was no copy of Tennyson's
works up at the observatory, but had we consulted
one we should have found that Rivers was right. The
line "These are Astronomy and Geology, terrible
Muses55 can scarcely be classed as an idealization of
those two realities.
Father Rosary now recreated harmonious gaiety
by seating himself at the piano and trolling out a
series of delightful ditties. After that he led us yet
further from uncomfortable controversies by playing
some classical and nobly serious pieces, for he loved
the old Italian masters. And when, at the final chords,
I looked across the room, the ultimate serenity of the
music seemed to be at rest in the face of my friend.
SITTING MYSELF down at the table to resume this
laborious task after twenty-four hours' rest, I told
myself that I was "really feeling fairly fresh again".
And I could have sworn that I heard the voice of
Rivers say "Good!" I mention this just to show the
way my mind works, though I suppose one ought not
to put that sort of "aside" into a book, especially as
I am always reminding myself to be ultra-careful to
keep my story "well inside the frame". But I begin to
feel as if I were inside the frame myself, and that being
so, I don't see why Rivers shouldn't be inside it too—
in more ways than one.
Well—to continue the chronicle—there were